Peace and Truth

We learn to find honesty in the program. The alcoholic has the hardest time with this. Let me tell you. It’s not that we are pathological liars. For me, and I can only speak from experience, it’s about hiding things. It’s about leaving certain information out, to create a beautiful facade, that doesn’t worry anybody around you. If you ask us how we are doing, rarely, unless we are in the program, will we be honest. We could be living in a hole under a bridge, but we will never let you see that. Instead, we will tell you life is grand, post something on Facebook, we exaggerate and over compensate for what we don’t have. Remember, I didn’t buy myself new towels in 10 years plus… yeah, we aren’t at all what we seem. We lie. We manipulate. We want you to see us as amazing, but in reality, we are not. We want desperately to be amazing and live amongst the living, but we don’t because we can’t. We hide. Some articles depict the alcoholic as a supreme narcissist. Maybe that is true to some extent; however this is bullshit. We may lie, we may cancel on you at the last minute because we can’t stand ourselves, but unlike the narcissist, we don’t mean to! We want to keep you shielded from pain, and when we cause it, it pains us more than it pains you, and it takes us longer to forgive it. Believe me. We may lie, but it’s not what it seems.

My relationships are all okay now. Not fabulous, but okay. I can live with that. My mom and I have come to some sort of understanding, and it’s nice talking to her again. As long as we keep it light, we are good. X and I have both selected our new apartments. He is staying here, and my lease is signed in Denver! Life at the casa isn’t awful. We also have found some sort of understanding. We keep it light, and we are good. Work is work. Friends have been weeded out of my garden. My loose ends are tying up. The only thing left is to replace my windshield, change my oil, rotate my tires, and go.

It’s not starting over. It’s just starting.

No reason to lie, no reason to be upset, no reason to grieve, no reason to hide.

Not Anymore.

H. Ryan



Apologies and Amends

I am so accustomed to giving apologies, that I am not sure how to receive one. I can’t remember the last time I did get an apology from someone. A real one. My mom wrote me an email. It was vague, but to the point. I’m not sure that she knows why she is sorry, only that she wants this to get better and for us to talk. I don’t really know what to do. Her timing of that email, though I’m sure unintentional, was sent to me days before my dad’s birthday. I feel pressured to make it right, right away. It doesn’t help when dad calls, and asks if I received her email, on the way to taking her to her doctor’s appointment. This feels shitty. I don’t think anyone is intending this to be or feel shitty, but it does. Now I have to wonder what is wrong with her now? Is she really sick? Do I need to hurry and make peace? This is not being done in the time that I need it to be, yet, do I have a choice to be a little selfish, and wait? I have no clue. Again, my actions are being driven by others. My decisions are being manipulated by others, all of the time. Can’t I just take a moment to process this? Then, can I make a decision on what to do next?

Though the email is important to me, and a huge step for her, I am left a little empty reading it. Again, I can’t move forward with a person, if they aren’t willing to do any work to not repeat the past.

I need to hit a meeting for some guidance.

H. Ryan

Black Horses

If the right person yesterday invited me for a drink, I probably would have had one. I don’t know. What I do know is that I didn’t. I got a cherry coke and a turkey sandwich instead.

When all of the positive mantras, AA literature, breathing techniques, releasing energy, when all of this doesn’t work, you can buckle or do something else. At first I was a raging bull. I panicked. I wanted to be the beast that was chasing me. My eyes were glowing red and I swear my pupils were doing an energy ball technique of their own- big, small, rage, anxiety. Big eyes. Little Eyes. Paranoia. Disgust. Bargaining. Planning. Obsessing.

I made my way to my bed and just rested. Door closed. Lights off. Earbuds on. You know, I never thought about people and their headphones. What are they listening to? Are they meditating their way through a crisis? Makes one wonder now. I actively and passively; emotionally and unemotionally rested. I gave myself permission to shut down, turn off the lights, and be. Sometimes all that you need is everything that you are. Sometimes all that you need is silence and breath.

Four black horses all galloping in a ring. One white horse to my left galloping freely. A few brown to my right. A black snake to my NorthEast, and a gecko to my West. Here we go.

I feel like being quieter today. So I will.

H. Ryan

I want a drink.

I want a drink. I really want a drink.

My trigger hits me when I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I do give a fuck, so this is unnerving. I’m not sure where this coming from. All that I know is that I want to go to Walgreens now, and buy a box of wine and drink it. I really don’t want to be sober today. I want a day to not think about anything, and just zone out. I need a vacation, and I would like wine there. Maybe that’s why I spend hours asleep or meditating– just to escape. It is taking everything I fucking have not to drive to the store.

It’s only 9am.

How did this feeling come back? All I want to do is lock my doors, plop in front of the tv (because tv is fun drunk) and sit and drink and pass out and drink and not be bothered. I hate that X lives here. I probably would go to the store and get a box if he didn’t live here, so I could drink in peace.

Holy shit. Stop. Breathe. Chill out.

It’s clawing through my skin like the Predator. I can feel my thoughts pissing on my brain more than my physical self going down hill on a black diamond.

Thoughts kill us.


In times like now, I am going to scream into my pillow, take a shower, and put a smile on my face. I know that if I drink, I will not stop. I will say something I regret to X and completely forget what it was. I will not be productive at work if I drink. I will waste my next 24 hours.

Okay. One minute at a time.

H. Ryan

Female Intuition

I do not trust myself completely. I do trust myself enough to start listening to my gut. Women are tremendous creatures, and we are innately blessed with powerful intuition. If we just stop and listen long enough, we may hear exactly what we need to. Not what we want or expect to.

I am so moved by my friend’s attention. What an earnest and beautiful person he is. I’m not ready. He’s not ready. I feel calm when I am around him when he is calm, but when he is manic, I too get manic. Monkey see monkey do. I am strong and feel fairly good on my own, but I am am still impressionable. I see this. I recognize that I’m not in a place for unnecessary chaos. I’m just not. I cannot throw myself from one situation into another. I don’t think I am mourning the loss of X anymore, more of a little bug that flies around your face every time and again, but it’s about me. I will not rush, and he is pushing me to.  I don’t have to do dinner. It’s nice that I have options to be around people, but I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to. I am not obligated to do anything. Wow. That’s freeing.

If I move in too soon, too quickly, I will only be replacing an old love with a new love, and not actually starting fresh. I must learn from my mistakes. I must do things differently. So I am.


H. Ryan




Red Sparrow

If you look on your porch… I hope that is your porch.

I open my double doors leading out to the Midtown street. I look to my right, sun was still sleeping, and I see a book laying on top of my mint stool. I open it, and it’s inscribed to me. This book has everything. For the girl that has everything. It was a present. It was perfect.

He drove downtown, at 5 ish in the morning, to drop a book off on MY porch for me.

Unbelievable. Absolutely incredible. I guess this is not a big deal for most people, but for me, this was the most beautiful gesture.

Something is brewing, and I am scared to death.

H. Ryan


Russian Lit and Swimming Pools

My God, what a fantastic day. llama

I woke up prepared and ready for a very important meeting. I arrive timely after an hour and a half drive, and to my surprise, my guys weren’t even at the office yet. The beginning of the meeting could have easily turned into the end in 5 minutes, when they had no real idea as to why I was even there. Great… Long story short, since business is so thrilling, I, with my sober mind and attitude, pivoted with style, closed the deal anyway, and walked out with ease. BAM!

This would not have been the case, had I been drinking last night. The old H. Ryan would have gotten annoyed, not lost her cool, but would not have pushed on. I know this. H. Ryan would have woken up in a panic, probably late, freaking out about my outfit and hair. Deciding whether I should ho-bath it, or speed to get there if I wash my head. Then, there was the smell. Did I smell like booze? I knew that I smelled like an old bar… Was I going to shake? I would do that breath check thing, and nope, more gum. I’m probably still drunk a little. I should not even drive…  I’m exhausted, but if I drink coffee the caffeine will send me into a panic attack.  Maybe I should have a beer to avoid the panic attack… AWFUL! Right? Now, get in the car and make a sale. Close a deal. Make money. Then, I would not have closed anything. Not today…

Note, I have regularly spoken in front of groups, met with 50 million dollar people, hosted webinars, all while experiencing and living through a panic attack. You just try not to pass out, not think about it, and maintain a positive face. If it was really bad, sometimes I would just do it intoxicated, and not try to get too mouthy… I can be quite effective when I have a buzz… but I won’t remember shit. It’s so exhausting. Then, after the event or meeting, I would rush to a bar and finish my day drinking to ease the anxiety, as well as tell myself I deserved it for “doing my job”.

There is so much anxiety in the world of sales. It’s almost inhumane, and not for the weak of heart. It used to feel like I was playing a part. I had to read my lines, get into character, and exude confidence through every cell of my body. I had to be H. Ryan, Ultimate Badass, Guru, Genius and Expert of Everything. Yeah… that gets old. You know what doesn’t get old? Working hard, knowing your shit cold, having your clothes pressed and ready, and waking up hours before your meeting to make sure your work gets done before, with coffee in hand! Yes. This is how I am suppose to do business. There is pressure still, sure. But not because I am covering up alcoholism. Not because I am faking confidence and knowledge. I DO know what the eff I’m talking about, and I don’t need to play a role. I am me. SHIT! I can rock at this, be myself, and be at peace. YES!

As I was driving home, proud of myself I must admit, I received some texts from my old friend. My dear friend. He and I are both friends of Bill’s and I just adore him when he is sober. We really get each other, and don’t have to be any kind of way when we are together. We met for lunch at the place across from my apartment, and then went swimming in my pool. It was the middle of the day, and I’m swimming with one of the best people that I know, just enjoying the freaking day! There were sparks, as there always is with him, but that aside, I had fun. We both were able to breathe, and just chill.

I felt beautiful, smart, interesting, and like I want to be the best version of myself with this person. I don’t have to apologize every five seconds for being “me”. We joked about dating people and what happens once they find out about AA… we have had similar experiences. He struggles with everything that I do, yet it’s not a bitchfest when we talk about it. We also don’t limit our talks to just AA topics either- which can be downright impossible when you hang out with folks like us in that club. He and I knew each other too well in the old world. The old life. Now, it’s so fun to see eachother grow into better people almost at the same time. This is what support is. We are genuinely proud of each other.  I asked him about trust today. I asked him about consistency. Immediately he thought I was asking whether he was trustworthy and whether he was consistent. He misunderstood. Every single day with X, I feel, no felt, that I had to prove to him that he could trust I wouldn’t slip or ruin something with my attitude, my intensity. I was asking whether he could trust in me.

Without batting an eye, he said that he trusted me. He has no choice but to. He has blind faith, (his words) and he trusts me and trusts in me completely. Wow, finally someone trusts me. Trusts in me. He believes in me. Wow. I never knew how much I had been missing that. My God, I have been living in a world surrounded by people who don’t trust me, let alone trust in me.

I can spend time with people that are not analyzing me and my emotions as though I am some experiment under a microscope. I can spend time with people that treat me like a normal, human being. I can spend time with people that after we leave, I feel GOOD! I can do these things!

We told each other how proud were were of one another. Proud. That is another strong word. I felt the genuine quality of his words. Also, pool time is sexy… He left for work, and to my surprise, he bought me a new book! The book that we talked about today. He actually bought me a present. I don’t know what to say, other than, damn and thank you.

Speechless in a good way…

Love and Light!

H. Ryan